Zero Emission Cars

Zero+Emission+Cars

Michael Varriale, Staff Writer

Gas cars have been used for countless things since their invention in the 1880’s. This could possibly be coming to an end within the next 15-20 years. What does this mean for people who use cars everyday? How will this affect the economy and the climate? 

States all around the country are talking about banning the sale of gas cars in the near future. This all started in California when Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he plans to require all new vehicles to be zero-emissions by 2035 in an attempt to lower pollution and increase the air quality in California. What Governor Newsom plans to do has spread to many other states including Washington, New York, New Jersey, and Colorado. Washington passed a $450,000 budget to make all government fleet vehicles electric as soon as 2025. Colorado is taking a slower approach by saying they plan to have “close to 100%” of all vehicles electric by 2050. Here in New York, the Senate passed Bill S 9008. According to New York state’s government website, the bill’s plan is for all new vehicle sales to be zero emissions by 2035, all medium duty and heavy duty vehicles be zero emission where feasible by 2045, and all off-road vehicles and equipment be zero emission where feasible by 2035. 

So what do zero emissions vehicles mean for the everyday consumer? According to Ergon.com (a private petroleum company), zero emission vehicles are cheaper to maintain, register, and run, and are better for the environment, our health, and our network. On average every electric car owner is saving 40% compared to a gas car between gas and moving parts. Statistics from edfenergy.com, who sells natural gas and electricity, say that just one electric car on the road can save 1.5 million grams of carbon dioxide emissions a year. Zero emission vehicles also help with noise pollution which can create a more peaceful environment for everyone.

Do these zero emissions vehicles have any downsides? Information from earth911.com, which is used by all 50 states to distribute information, concludes that most electric cars only have a range of about 300 miles a charge, whereas gas cars can have a range of up to 1000 miles on a single tank. With this in mind, an electric car can take hours to reach a full charge and get the maximum range, whereas a gas car takes just a few minutes to fill up a tank and get much more range. So is it really worth it to wait hours for half the range of a gas car? Since electric vehicles are the only zero emission vehicle, they are more expensive than a gas car, and there are way less options. According to Car and Driver, one of the most well known automotive news sources, as of now there are about 20 fully zero emission cars on the market while there are tens of thousands of gas cars to choose from. The smaller, more generic electric cars have a price of around 30-40 thousand dollars, but more luxurious electric cars can go upwards of eighty thousand dollars. Most younger people, and people who just get their licenses, cannot afford to spend this much money on an electric car. If you’re shopping for a gas car they can range from $1,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars, which makes the market for cars much more diverse. 

There are plenty of benefits and downsides to zero emission cars. As of now the only real zero emission cars are electric and they are slowly gaining more and more popularity. Only time will tell the impact zero emission cars will have on the planet and on the market.

* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license